Harvey Weinstein will spend the next 23 years in prison after a judge sentenced the disgraced movie mogul, following his conviction on several charges of sexual assault.
As NBC News reported, Weinstein faced a possibility of up to 29 years in prison for the convictions and lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi asked that he receive the maximum or close to it. She told the New York court that the former producer “would never have been stopped from hurting more lives.”
“He has been using and abusing people his whole life,” she added.
Weinstein had pushed back, saying he was worried that “thousands of men are losing due process” in light of the #MeToo movement that empowers victims of sexual abuse to come forward. Weinstein’s case has been among the most high-profile of the movement, with dozens of women coming forward to say that he acted in a sexually inappropriate manner and used his power in the movie industry to prey on aspiring actresses. His accusers included some well-known actresses, including many who said that he used his power in the industry to punish them if they rebuffed his advances.
After the sentencing, Weinstein’s attorney, Donna Rotunno slammed the sentence as “obscene.”
“That number was obnoxious. There are murderers who will get out of court faster than Harvey Weinstein will,” she said, via The Hollywood Reporter. “That number spoke to the pressure of movements in the public, that number did not speak to the evidence that came out in trial. That number did not speak to the testimony that we heard. That number did not speak to evidence, nor did it speak to justice.”
Weinstein was convicted last month on charges of first-degree rape against Mimi Haley, who worked as a production assistant on Project Runway. Weinstein was also convicted third-degree rape of Jessica Mann, an aspiring actress. He faced a more serious charge of predatory sexual assault that could have landed him in prison for life.
Weinstein, who was sent to Rikers Island this week after undergoing a heart procedure at a Manhattan hospital, still faces more charges in Los Angeles on a number of unrelated allegations of sexual assault. As the Los Angeles Times reported last month, legal experts believe that Weinstein will see an increased likelihood of conviction on those charges after the New York jury convicted him of all but the most serious charge.
Weinstein has maintained his innocence, and his lawyers said they plan to appeal the conviction.